The Palaszczuk Government’s representative in North Queensland has been caught out making unsubstantiated claims on key issues impacting the region she is supposed to represent.
Shadow Minister for Northern Development, Andrew Cripps, asked Coralee O’Rourke questions about unemployment, crime and electricity costs in the north, during recent budget estimates.
Mr Cripps said Labor’s Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland was not responsible for any legislation, budget allocations or public servants as part of the budget estimates process.
“Given Coralee O’Rourke is responsible for nothing in her North Queensland role, we must try to hold her to some account by measuring what she says and claims to achieve” said Mr Cripps.
“Despite claiming the Palaszczuk Government’s budgets had created jobs in North Queensland, unemployment rates in Townsville – particularly youth unemployment – have increased” he said.
“The Minister was unable to explain why Labor’s policies had failed to lower unemployment rates in North Queensland, despite the fact they’ve spent hundreds of millions of tax-payers dollars”.
“In December 2016, Coralee O’Rourke told North Queenslanders that juvenile offenders would be held accountable and made to fix the damage they caused when committing a property crime”.
Mr Cripps said despite the claims by Minister O’Rourke, none of the 17 High Risk Youth court orders issued since February appeared to have involved the young offender fixing the damage.
“At the estimates committee, Coralee O’Rourke appeared to claim the Palaszczuk Government’s Powering North Queensland Plan had already stabilised power prices in North Queensland”.
“Despite being asked twice, the Minister was unable to advise when this price stabilisation had occurred and power bills being paid by North Queenslanders certainly contradict her claim”.
Mr Cripps said Coralee O’Rourke should be held more accountable for the statements and commitments she makes in her role as Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland.